The battle between the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and the Department of State Services over a plan to arrest the CBN governor may have been put on hold as Emefiele resumes duty.
The CBN governor on Monday resumed office at the CBN headquarters, after spending several weeks in the United Kingdom and the United States following reported plots by the DSS to arrest him.
In a statement by the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank said the governor had resumed to work, amid concerns over his absence since last month.
The statement read, “The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has resumed duty after his annual vacation abroad. Mr Emefiele, who proceeded on leave in December 2022, resumed work today, Monday, January 16, 2023.
The governor resumed with renewed vigour to perform his duty ahead of the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the year scheduled for January 23 to 24, 2023. Mr Emefiele remains committed to performing the task before him in line with his oath of office and the policy direction of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The bank further urged Nigerians to continue to support the policies of the bank aimed at ensuring a stable financial system and the Nigerian economy in general.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services has denied invading the CBN head office in Abuja.
There were reports in some media outlets (not The PUNCH) that the DSS had stormed the CBN headquarters to arrest the governor of the apex bank.
In a statement on Monday by the DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, the agency denied arresting Emefiele.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Department of State Services has been drawn to the false news making the round that its operatives invaded the Central Bank of Nigeria and arrested its Governor, today 16/1/23. This is fake news and quite misleading.”
However, the development appears to have put a temporary stop to the reported plot by the DSS to arrest the nation’s number one banker.
Emefiele, perhaps the most embattled and controversial CBN governor in the recent history of the country, left the country last month following the decision of the DSS to arrest him.
In December, the secret service agency approached an Abuja court to arrest Emefiele over allegations bordering on financing terrorism and money laundering, among others.
However, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja reportedly stopped the DSS from arresting the CBN governor for alleged “acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.”
The DSS filed a suit on December 7, 2022, seeking to arrest the CBN governor. But Justice J.T Tsoho declined to grant the application for the governor’s arrest on December 9, 2022.
The suit, with reference number FHC/Abj/CS/2255/2022, had State Security Services as the applicant.Related News
Refusing to grant the DSS request, the judge said, “In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application ex parte. If the applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the applicant, even without the order of the court. If, however, the applicant desires to still pursue this application, then it should place the respondent on notice considering the sensitive public office that he occupies.”
Also, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, on December 29, barred the DSS and the Inspector General of Police from arresting and detaining Emefiele, over allegations of terrorism and sundry offences against him.